Santander Cycles scheme enjoys record breaking year

Santander cycles next gen

London’s cycle hire scheme achieved a record-breaking year with more than 10.5m journeys made using Santander Cycles in 2018.

Five of the 11 months in 2018 have beaten year-on-year records for the number of journeys made, and there were five consecutive months when the scheme achieved more than one million hires.

Quick facts

  • There was an average of 29,500 daily hires in 2018, the highest since the scheme started in 2010
  • More than 820,000 different customers used the scheme in 2018
  • Customers cycled a total distance of 49,803,578km in 2018 – equivalent to around 65 return trips to the moon
  • More than 35,000 hires were made on Christmas Day
  • In total, there have been more than 77m journeys since the scheme launched in 2010
  • Santander Cycles now covers 100 square kilometres of London, making it the largest cycle hire scheme in Europe

Improvements to the scheme in 2018 included an expansion to Brixton, with seven new docking stations and 200 new bikes contributing 43,500 hires to the scheme. The new docking stations mean that the scheme’s reach now spreads from Brixton in the south to Camden in the north, and Hammersmith in the west to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the east.

In November, the process of hiring a bike was made quicker and easier with the introduction of new technology, allowing customers to pay with contactless bank cards. The upgrade also removed five stages of the payment process at all 775 terminals across London.

Santander cycles Brixton

The Santander Cycles app grew in popularity in 2018, with a 26% year-on-year increase in hires made through the app. It is expected the 1.4m hires made through the app in 2018 will continue to grow, with further app improvements expected next year.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “Santander Cycles are such a fun and easy way to get around London, so I’m delighted that more and more people are choosing to hire them all year round – breaking records in the process.

“Encouraging more Londoners to cycle as part of their everyday routine is crucial for Londoners’ health and to help tackle congestion and air pollution.”

David Eddington, head of cycle hire at TfL, said: “We’ve seen a huge increase in the numbers of people choosing to cycle in London, with a 35% increase since our cycle hire scheme was introduced, and hope that number will continue to rise.”

3 January 2019